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ISR – Maccabi’s Fischer hurt in weekend attack
TEL AVIV (Euroleague) – Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv’s popular American center D'or Fischer was attacked outside a local club in the early morning hours of Monday and suffered nerve damage to the face after being cut with a broken bottle.
Police are still searching for the attackers.
The news has come as a shock to Maccabi with Fischer, who arrived to the team in the last summer from Belgium, the best player in the squad.
The 27-year-old is ranked second in the Euroleague index rating but is now an uncertainty for the next several games at least.
Following a big Maccabi win in the domestic league at the weekend, the 2.11m center went out with several teammates to a local club.
After leaving the establishment and while walking back to his car, Fischer was attacked by a group of men and fell to the ground, suffering a deep cut to his face.
Teammate Tre Simmons rushed to his friend’s aid and took him to the nearby Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center where doctors discovered the cut had hit a nerve in Fischer’s face.
The player experienced pain when he tried to smile or shut his eye and required plastic surgery.
Several hours later, the hospital and Maccabi held a joint press conference to discuss the incident.
"The cut on his cheek was very, very deep, and we had run a micro-surgical procedure to repair the nerve," said Dr. Eyal Gur.
"Fischer could return to the court in two to three weeks, but it will take up to three to six months until the healthy nerve grows.
"Then we'll know if he is able to smile and shut his eyes again like before, or the damage is unable to be repaired."
Maccabi were shocked to hear about the incident because Fischer is deemed to be a wonderful person.
"We know players go out, but we were surprised it was Fischer and that he was out so early in the morning," said former Maccabi star and current team manager Gur Shelef.
"We will study all the facts and see how to react. Such things happen not only in Maccabi.
"We try to warn all the players about such situations and how to avoid them.”
Fischer and the teammates who went to the club are expected to face a disciplinary committee of the club shortly after the team returns from their road game against Alba Berlin in the Euroleague on Thursday,
By Tuesday afternoon, Fischer had already released from the hospital and seemed to be in a good mood.
"Some people say I look better now," he joked.
"I feel better now, and the doctors say my face will be fine soon."
Fischer spoke about what had happened, refuting claims that an altercation inside the establishment had led to the attack.
"Five people attacked me outside the club,” he said.
“I have no idea why. There was no confrontation with them inside the club."
On the court, the episode has not come at a good time with Maccabi already missing national team big man Yaniv Green (back injury).
That means Pini Gershon’s team will have no center available on Thursday when they go to Germany needing to win to even have a chance of advancing to the Quarter-Finals.
The club is currently 1-3 in the Top 16.
Because of the uncertainty about the immediate future of Fischer and Green, Maccabi have signed Aaron McGhee, a player who began the season with Ironi Nahariya and was one of the best frontcourt players in the Israeli league.
He has signed for the remainder of campaign with an option for the following season as well.
McGhee is expected to make his debut with the team this weekend in an Israeli league game.
Yarone Arbel, Tel Aviv